Say hello to your new favorite soup! Tender potatoes and sauteed leeks in a creamy white cheddar broth topped with crispy bacon and chives!
Grab Your Ingredients
This soup is super easy and I’m pretty sure you have all or not most of the items in your house. If you don’t have leeks, most grocery stores carry them.
- Veggies – potatoes, leeks, carrots
- Herbs – thyme, chives
- Liquids – stock, heavy cream
- Seasonings – garlic, kosher salt, black pepper
- Cheese – white cheddar
Crisp Up The Bacon (and save some of the drippings!)
Always start your bacon in a cold pan. Once it’s nicely crisped up, remove it from the pan and discard all but 2 Tablespoons of the bacon drippings.
That, along with some butter is what you’ll use to saute the leeks, carrots, and garlic in.
Cut Your Leeks
Leeks are alliums which relates them to garlic, chives, shallots, and onions. They are sweeter than your average onion. You can swap them out in any recipe that calls for onions or shallots.
I’m going to try growing my own because I use them so much. Per my seed company, they are slow to grow so I’ll have to wait until next November-ish to plant them.
Chef’s Tip: When working with leeks, you’ll want to: trim off the dark green part and the roots. Slice the leeks into rounds and rinse under cool water, breaking up the rings to get rid of any dirt. Give them a good shake in the colander and if needed, rinse again.
Cube The Potatoes
When it comes to the potatoes, I’m using baby red and yukon potatoes so leaving the skin on is completely fine. If you’re using say a Russet that has tougher skin, definitely remove it
I didn’t start to cube my potatoes until my leeks, carrots, and garlic were sauteed and softened. If you do cube them ahead of time, put them in ice water.
Since my leek mixture was almost ready, I also put the fresh thyme leaves in the bowl with the potatoes.
Let’s Make Soup!
- To a hot pan that has about 2 Tablespoons of bacon drippings and 2 Tablespoons of butter, add in the leeks and carrots. Saute them for about 8-10 minutes, stirring often until they are softened.
- Add about a cup of stock into the hot pot, scraping the bottom to remove any bits of bacon and caramelization.
- Add in the rest of the stock, the cubed potatoes, and thyme.
- Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce it to a simmer, putting the lid partially on.
- Cook for about 10-15 minutes or until the potatoes are easily pierced with a knife.
- Remove the lid, pour in the cream, and stir cooking for another 5 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and allow to rest for about 5-10 minutes before SLOWLY adding the cheese, stirring constantly.
Chef’s Tip: Read THIS ARTICLE about why cheese sauce breaks, turns gritty, or clumpy. If you add the cheese while the mixture is still bubbling, it will gum/gloop up.
Remember That Bacon We Cooked Earlier?
This is what it’s for! I also grated up a bit more white cheddar cheese and grabbed some garlic chives from my garden.
I love garnishes on top of soup. Plus I like the juxtaposition of textural elements. Kind of how I like chips on a sandwich – I need that soft sandwich paired with the bite of crunchy chips.
What To Serve With Potato Leek Cheddar Soup
I had some leftover toasted marble rye crostini so I used those to dip into my soup. I also made Mr. Fantabulous some bread bowls using my famous Hoagie Roll Recipe so he opted for one of those.
Slow Cooker Instructions
You can absolutely make this in the slow cooker. Here’s how:
- Crisp up the bacon and save some of the drippings. Saute the leeks, carrots, and garlic until softened.
- To a 6-quart Slow Cooker, add the leek mixture, stock, potatoes, thyme, salt, and pepper. Cook on low for ~6 hours. During the last 30 minutes of cooking, stir in the cream, replace the lid, and continue cooking.
- Uncover, stir, and wait about ~10 minutes then add in the cheese, a little at a time.
Creamy or Chunky Cheddar Potato Leek Soup
I get it, some like it creamy with no chunks, some like it a little lumpy, and some want it as a light broth with chunks of everything. No worries.
- Creamy (no chunks) – after you add the cheese and it’s all melted in, use an Immersion Blender or blend, in batches, in a blender until desired creaminess.
- Semi-Lumpy – Just process half of the soup in a blender and mix it back into the remaining chunky soup
- Lighter Broth with chunks – leave the soup as written
Can I Freeze This Soup?
As-written, no. Any dairy-based soups can separate in the freezer/upon thawing.
However, make the soup as written EXCEPT do not add in the cream. You can add the cheese, that’s fine. Allow the soup to cool completely then freeze it in containers.
To reheat, allow it to thaw in the fridge overnight. Place the soup in a pot and reheat it slowly. Once the soup is completely warmed through, add in the cream and stir. You can add additional cheese if you’d like.Print
- 4 slices thick cut bacon
- 2 leek stalks, trimmed, cleaned, and cut into 1/4” rings
- 1 cup julienne/shredded carrots
- 1 Tablespoon chopped garlic (can reduce it to 2 teaspoons if preferred)
- 2 Tablespoons butter, unsalted
- 2 1/2 pounds new potatoes, cubed
- 7 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 Tablespoon fresh thyme leaves (or 5–6 thyme stalks)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 cups freshly shredded white cheddar plus additional for garnishing
- Minced chives for garnish
- In a large cold pot, add the bacon, turn the heat to medium and cook until the bacon is crispy. Set aside on a paper towel lined plate then chop up. Discard all but 2 Tablespoons of the bacon drippings.
- To the hot pan, add the butter, leeks and carrots. Cook, stirring often, until softened. Roughly 8-10 minutes. Add in the garlic, stir and cook for 30 seconds.
- Add in about 1 cup of the stock and scrap up the caramelized bits off the bottom of the pot. Add in the rest of the stock, the potatoes, thyme leaves, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, place the on but not covering fully and cook for 10-15 minutes or until the potatoes are easily pierced with a knife.
- Remove the lid, add in the cream, stirring to combine. Cook for 5 minutes more and remove from the heat. Allow to rest for about 5-10 minutes off of the heat before slowly adding in the cheese a little bit at a time.
- Once it’s all in, plate and garnish with more cheese, crispy bacon pieces, and chives.
- Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 4 days.
For Slow Cooker Instructions, see the post
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